Sermon of the Week: “The Subtlety of Satan ” by Jim Murphy.

In this week’s sermon, The Subtlety of Satan, Pastor Murphy gives a scathing indictment on what today’s version of a “Christian” is:

“(Today’s Christian is) someone who has made the decision to be an emotionally well-adjusted, self-actualized risk-taking leader who knows his purpose, lives a no regret life of significance, has overcome his fears, enjoys a healthy marriage, is an attentive parent celebrating recovery from all their hurts, their habits, their hang-ups, and that practices biblical stress relief techniques, is financially free from consumer debt, fosters emotionally healthy relationships with his peers, attends a weekly life group, volunteers regularly at church, tithes off his gross, and has taken at least one humanitarian aid trip to a third world nation. . . . Never once do you read in that modern contextualized interpretation that a Christian is one who sees their sin, confesses their sin, repents of their sin, and receives the gift of salvation in Christ alone. That’s how far we’ve come. So Christianity now is dictated and defined by culture.”

Pastor Murphy also exhorts his congregation to “connect the dots,” between the many dangers we are warned about repeatedly in Scripture and what is being taught under our noses in many churches and by many Christian authors and leaders today.

‎”The mood is that if you have a reformed soteriology you get a pass on everything else.”  -John MacArthur

What Mac says is so true – Calvinistic preachers are assumed to be orthodox because they have one doctrine correct. Yet those who serve as elders in the local church are to preach the whole counsel of God’s Word. This will humble any man and cause the sheep to be less dependent on the preacher and more on the Lord.

As we’ve pointed out in other posts, here and here, for example, the Bible has plenty of warnings about being deceived and misled by men. No man is above having his teaching tested against Scripture, because only the God Man Jesus was and is without error – and He is the Word of God!

HT: Sola Sisters

10 thoughts on “Sermon of the Week: “The Subtlety of Satan ” by Jim Murphy.

  1. Interesting. A right view of God and His saving sovereignty do NOT a good church make. I wholeheartedly agree with this. Being new to San Antonio, my family and I have been attending a church here which is, how would I describe it???….a sovereign grace, non-denominational, Baptist-ish, Bible-church-like church which has a “Reformed Soteriology.” This is evident from the pulpit and in the teaching in Sunday School, etc., but that’s about it.

    The “dots” are all over the map with this ministry. There’s very little deep, theological instruction, and relatively weak exposition. There is, however, teen-led ‘worship’ services, contemporary 7/11 music, programs for all ages, a “Family Life Center” and many other distractions present. Oh for a church where the simplicity of prayer, singing rich hymns, reading the Bible, and authoritative preaching is how worship is done!



  2. Todd,
    Using 9Marks and Johnny Farese’s church search web sites, you may find one or more of the following beneficial to you and your family.

    Faith Reformed Baptist Church of San Antonio
    Lyle Batey
    P.O. Box 340651
    San Antonio, TX 78234

    Free Grace Baptist Church
    1801 Thorain Street
    San Antonio, TX 78201
    Billings, Ken
    (210) 771-8224

    Believers Fellowship 210-656-2000 13714 Lookout Road San Antonio, TX 78233
    Grace Community Church 210-222-2030 P.O. Box 10608 San Antonio, TX 78210
    Hillburn Drive Grace Baptist Church 210-675-5484 5426 Hillburn Drive San Antonio, TX 78242
    Parkills Baptist Church 210.494.5219 17747 San Pedro San Antonio, TX 78232


  3. Hi Manfred,

    Thank you for those recommendations for our benefit as well. Our middle son is in the USAF and is headed to Lackland AFB for his next duty station in September. We were not sure where to send him to visit.


  4. The church to which I referred in my first post earlier is Believers Fellowship here in San Antonio. My family and I have been attending now for about 6 weeks. Not sure we’re going to be staying. Have also visited Grace Reformed Baptist – on a scale of 1-10….I’d say 5.


    I meant Free Grace Baptist not Grace Reformed Baptist……it’s not Ken Billings anymore, by the way.


  5. Thanks for sharing this post Manfred. The statement by MacArthur is more critical than many realize, and is a key reason why so much false teaching is so easily accepted in churches, or from the likes of favorite “Christian” authors. Of all the times I’ve attempted to expose the false teachings of the likes of Piper, Driscoll and others, the counter argument I receive inevitably falls back upon their “orthodox” or “reformed” soteriology, as if that’s the bottom line, all else being irrelevant.


  6. RS – you are most welcome. And you are right – we often like our favorite preacher or author more than we love the Lord and His book. We need to be torn loose from such none sense.


  7. @RS ,, you’re exactly right about people like Piper and Driscoll.

    I’ve exposed Piper on forums and for some reason people think he’s beyond error simply because He has held many areas of correct teachings. When did correct doctrine automatically equal that a person is beyond scrutiny when they are teaching error and when did correct doctrine automatically mean people are saved? Isn’t Satan in the pulpit teach correct doctrine also? Can’t he teach 99% truth by subtly and incrementally slipping error and lies?

    Many people haven’t even examined John Piper but merely base their choices on him being credible by what (others) who are credible, erudite, sound biblical pastors and teachers have said. That’s very dangerous, wrong and leads to grave error. I’ve read some of the critiques of pastors whom I respect and are very biblically sound and respectable men and yet they are silent when it comes to Piper. If they do speak of Piper, THEY lack discernment and it goes out the window all of a sudden. Our basis should be that WE have examined Piper according to God’s word by the Holy Spirit. No wonder he’s slipped out from under the microscope. No wonder people just continue to give him a pass. It’s not based on TRUTH but that it was filtered down from credible men who themselves have failed to examine these men who are not beyond scrutiny

    Yes and that’s exactly what happens… 99% water and the rest cyanide


  8. Todd,

    Check out It is an online ministry of Grace Community Church in San Antonio. I’ve never been to the church, but have been encouraged and convicted while listening to the elder/pastor, Tim Conway. I would at least recommend that you try the church if you are looking based on the solid preaching.



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